It’s not surprising that 77% of business buyers and 58% of consumers believe that technology has changed their expectation of how companies should interact with them. Technology has been reshaping our world for a while now, and any new trend in technology is ought to influence our lives in some form or another.
So, it’s no surprise that the tech trends of 2018 such as the adoption of digital assistants, blockchain applications, and devices using the Internet of Things are probably going to drive the industry in 2018.
CES 2018 has shown that the world is also heading in the direction of wireless charging, virtual and augmented reality, digital health solutions, smart energy, and more.
Let’s take a look at how some of these might reshape CRM software.
1- Artificial Intelligence and Personalized Workflow Automation
Artificial intelligence will surely have the biggest splash in the CRM pool in 2018. AI has the potential to make businesses smarter, and it will power up CRM systems to learn our interactions through data. AI will help us find the answers to our questions, it will predict our needs, remind us of any tasks we’ve forgotten, and take care of exhausting tasks so we can focus on other, more important ones.
In short, AI will reduce manual work to the minimum through automated actions and better-configured interfaces that best suits our patterns to save our efforts and time for what’s important.
CRM systems powered by AI will give companies access to unseen-before operational and system activity patterns. It will deliver insights businesses will be able to use for significant benefits.
2- Social CRM
Many, if not most, businesses of all sizes have embraced social media in the last decade. In fact, Social Media has become, for many businesses, a sort of virtual community where they can interact with their customers directly. But what comes after Social Media? Social CRM.
The next step for customer relationship management is social CRM. This will help companies better optimize the power of social networking to get closer to their customers and meet their needs.
Social CRM will not only interact with existing and potential customers, but it will also be able to collect information regarding customer behavior and opinions. This information will be a great aid in quickly resolving issues and expecting future customer behavior.
Social CRM will undoubtedly enhance the social media connections of an organization if done right, and 2018 may see the first steps in the right direction.
3- Better Integration with External Tools
Integration with external tools and services is crucial for CRM services, and they don’t always integrate smoothly or have integration available at all.
In 2018, it’s expected to see CRM systems integrate better with third-party tools, apps, and services. CRM developers are – or should be – working on finding ways to better integrate new technologies, services, and tools through their sales, marketing, and customer support applications.
Businesses need industry-standard interfaces that can connect with multiple solutions and services. Intelligent Synchronization across platforms is also needed, and some companies – such as lawn care provider GreenPal, are working towards this goal. External tools, apps, and services that integrate smoothly and tightly with CRM systems can greatly enhance user productivity while also helping users to perform their work with ease.
4- Personalized CRM
Businesses that fail in their implementation of data management and customer interaction strategy can miss out on a 25% increase in potential new revenue. Businesses all around the globe are now fighting to design and implement ideal CRM-based campaigns and programs. All so they could reach and engage their audiences.
Personalization has been driving the individual customer experience and will keep doing so, and CRM has been critical in reaching customers through messaging and is likely to keep so.
5- Designed for Subscriptions
In the past couple of years, we’ve seen the emergence of what some call “a subscription economy”. This model has been used in all sorts of services, and the renewable contract has been playing a strong role in the consumer satisfaction and loyalty over the long term.
This means that the “subscription economy” is going to be a strong factor when designing and re-designing CRM systems so they could attract more customers to subscribe.
Sophisticated analytical tools and machine learning are going to be driving automated marketing processes in 2018, all aiming for a faster business growth while staying profitable and controlled.
6- Better CRM Mobile Applications for a more versatile remote Workspace
An office located in the U.S while having employees working from Spain or France is something that’s not out of the ordinary in today’s world. Business concepts are becoming more and agiler, and flexible workspaces designed to suit performance-driven workforces is not only helping businesses stay productive and competitive, but also helping employees better balance their work and their life.
2017 has already seen a noticeable rise in the mobile CRM application and 2018 is expected to see a more agile, user-friendly and mature acceptance from managers and executives.